Archaeologists discover 12,000-yr-old rock paintings in Betul


Sahu said paintings in these shelters are pre-historic, chalcolithic as well as historical in nature, varying in time frame from the beginning of the Quaternary period to the recent past.

Though it is premature to comment on the exact chronology of the art in these shelters, going by the enormous studies done and stylistic similarities with the other Central Indian rock art, these rock arts can be deemed to be belonging to the time bracket of the Upper Palaeolithic, through Mesolithic and Chalcolithic to the historical times.

Also painted in at least two shelters are writings in the Shankhalipi. Commonly, the earliest of these may be loosely stated to be approximately 12,000 years old, she said.

Her expert team included Gajanan Katade, N K Nimje, Dr K M Girhe, Indira Tiwari, Ekta Dharkar, Dr Vijay Gedam, P S Pashine, R D Deshpande, M S Kadhao, T B Thapa, Kapil Chutele from Prehistory Branch and Dr Prabash Sahu, Dr Rajesh Mehar, Manohar Kambe, M G Dahake, Kartik Mudaliar, Mehtab Alam from the Excavation Branch.

She said human vandalism was noticed at many places while visiting some of the shelters. If not checked in time, it may lead to rapid decadence of the site.

The vandalism was pointed out by the ASI team leader to the District Magistrate, Chandra Shekhar and Superintendent of Police, Betul (MP), during their visit to the camp.

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